There’s a loud click, and dark person enters our bedroom. We are both incredibly deep in sleep, so the suddenness of our awakening fires up our hearts at a record speed. (I look and there is a backlit, silhouetted person entering our room pushing a cart and speaking gibberish.) Of course, this isn’t our bedroom, it’s the parents room. It wasn’t a scary person, just the nurse. She wasn’t speaking gibberish, but English. Our brains hadn’t caught up to our bodies yet.
After she leaves Steph asks me what she said… we came to the conclusion that the nurse had come in and told us that birthmom was ready for bed and we needed to go get Eva and bring her to our room. At this point we are both shaking and breathing fast, on the edge of panic after being jolted out of our deep, deep slumber. Steph pulls herself together and goes to get Eva.
Eva is ready for a bottle, and is politely, nix that, emphatically telling us so. Night one and she’s already laying down the law. You sleep after I eat, got it? The suddenness of it has put us off, and we are both fighting tightened stomachs, heightened awareness, and sheer terror. I do the only thing I can think of. I pick her up and rock her. When she calms, we feed her. She goes back to sleep and our first night of baby is here.
Once we calm down and reconfirm that we actually can do this, we try to go back to sleep. Tiredness is not an issue. No, what stands in our way are baby noises. How many different breathing noises can a baby make? Does that gurgle means she’s choking?… What was that exploding sound? Did she just throw up? No, that sound came from her diaper….When she says “eh”, is it the start of a cry, or nothing?… When she does cry, is it food, diaper or touch that she needs? Oh my goodness, how many days do these mid-night feedings last? Months?! We are definitely stopping at one child. (Although Steph agreed with me at the time, she is already talking about #2.) We’re struggling splitting the duties between the two of us. How do breast feeding mothers handle it every time?
Peace comes soon enough. You remember that you are in a hospital, that a nurse is consistently checking on you. You’re not going to mess her up here. So we stumble into the feed, change, rock, sleep routine. Morning comes and I get to say for the first time “Good Morning, Eva”. Life is good.
(Now, instead of freaking out at the various noises she makes while sleeping, we find them adorable. Our two favorites are “The Wilber” where she snorts a little bit, and “The Deflating Balloon” where she takes a big breath and does this really long exhale which often results in a squeaky squeal.)
Today is the day we find out if we can go home tomorrow. This is extra important because tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We can go home and not try to find food at the hospital on Christmas. Our birthmother can go home and spend Christmas with her family. Let’s hope this happens.
Steph heads home to freshen up, so I get to spend some quality time with her. A doctor comes in to administer the hearing test. Aces! Which is good, cause she’ll need good hearing with a musical mother. A bit later, the hospital’s photographer comes in and is ready to take pictures. Not without Steph, you’re not! I reschedule, and all is well.
Later that morning, birthmother wants to see her, so the nurse has to roll her across to her room. The rules with this hospital is that the birthmother and one other person can have the wrist band that allows you to transport the baby. I was not banded, so I could not move her. Luckily, Steph was banded so she could when needed. Birthmother could have had the birthfather have the other band, but through our strong relationship, she bestowed one to Steph.
Later that morning, Steph and I had our photography shoot which went fabulously. The thing is, it’s like buying a beer at a ballgame, or using an ATM in Disney World. You can’t leave, so pay our wrong place, right time fee. Which we did. Gladly. New parent high, I suppose. It kind of reminds me of our honeymoon. Flying out to Orlando, we missed our connecting flight in Chicago, and spent nine hours at O’Hare. Today I would have written a gigantic post complaining about it. That day, I was ok with it because I was deliriously happy.
That afternoon I brought birthmother’s family to the hospital, and Hope got to meet her sister, Eva, for the first time. Steph and I give them their space and go back to our room. It was a bit crowded anyway.
I take them home afterwards, and come back to the hospital and find out that we do indeed get go home tomorrow! That means everything is going great for both birthmother and Eva!
The only other thing of note today is the formula. The hospital uses bottles of Enfamil, which were super easy to use. Then after we had used about 10 bottles, we have this discussion with one of the nurses :
What formula do you plan on using at home?
We plan on using Earth’s Best.
OK, don’t want to use the Enfamil since they’ve pulled it off the shelves since that kid died?
What!!! What are we doing?!!! It’s been a day and we’re already bad parents, feeding poisonous formula to our baby! Well, it turns out that the recall may have been a bit presumptive, as it may have been tainted water. One day and another lesson: Parenting is stressful.
Tomorrow is the day we bring her home. I can’t wait for tomorrow. Careful what you wish for, Eva will wake us early to say “It’s Christmas Eve….now change me”.